What Happens to Our Bull Calves?

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I often receive questions about bull calves that are born on our farm.

bull calves

Do you have bull calves or do you artificially inseminate to only have heifers? So what do beef farmers do with their bull calves? Do bull calves get the same treatment? What does our cattle farm do with the bull calves on our farm? All are great questions.

Question: Do you have bull calves or do you artificially inseminate to only have heifers

Answer: We use bulls to breed our cattle. We breed all our heifers and cows to Simmental bulls. Because we use bulls there is no guarantee that a heifer or bull will be born.

Question: So what do beef farmers do with their bull calves and what do we do on our farm?

Answer: To be honest, each farm is different. Some farms raise their own bull calves, some send them to the sale barn and some have arrangements with a certain person/farm to purchase them. That depends on the farm. On our farm, we sell them and they are raised as steers and then sold at the sale barn. The same family comes to the farm, picks up the bull calf anywhere from eight months to a year old, and takes it to their farm to raise. They raise them pretty much the same way we raise our heifer (female) calves.

Question: Do bull calves get the same treatment? (I am assuming this was referring to being treated as our heifers)

Answer: On our farm, every calf is born, cleaned off by its mother (in some cases the mother doesn’t want anything to do with it), and is taken to our calf barn. There are times during the winter when we remove the calf immediately due to below-freezing temperatures. Every calf regardless if it is a heifer or bull gets its colostrum from its mother.

If you would like to read more about our heifer program (how we raise our calves) and why they are taken away from their mothers, please check out this blog post.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to comment below. Or you can contact me, here.

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